ELKHART, Indiana – Local business owner Alvaro Marquez has won United Way of Elkhart and LaGrange Counties’ Superhero Kick Off contest. Marquez was among eleven community members who were nominated as heroes for their extraordinary efforts to improve their communities. United Way held online voting to pick a single winner. Marquez received 299 out of 711 total votes cast.
The grand prize of the contest allowed the winner to direct a $5,000 grant to the United Way-funded nonprofit of their choice. Alvaro and his wife, Catalina, chose Ribbon of Hope to receive the funds due to a personal connection with the organization. When Catalina was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, Ribbon of Hope helped the Marquez family with transportation, prayers, encouragement, and even helped provide gifts at Christmas time.
Five separate individuals nominated Alvaro Marquez for the contest, citing his compassion, generosity, and his support for marginalized communities.
Mr. Marquez played a role in United Way’s recent COVID-19 relief efforts when he opened his business, The Arena, for five consecutive Saturdays as a distribution site for food giveaways to those who lost income due to the pandemic.
“United Way is thrilled to honor such as deserving pillar of our local community. Heroes like Alvaro are what makes our community great,” said Matt Puro, Manager of Marketing and Administration at United Way of Elkhart and LaGrange Counties.
Pictured left to right are Loretta Salchert, Executive Director of Ribbon of Hope, Alvaro Marquez, Co-Owner of The Arena, and Bill Rieth, President/CEO of United Way of Elkhart and LaGrange Counties.